ATLANTA – Georgia Tech head coach George O’Leary will be officially honored as the 2000 Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year at a luncheon Mar. 6 at 12:15 p.m. at the Hilton Atlanta and Towers at 255 Courtland St.
Tickets for the event, which will be held in the Grand Ballroom of the Hilton, are $30 and can be ordered through the Georgia Tech Athletic Association by calling Barb Dockweiler at 404-894-6124. The deadline for ordering tickets is Feb. 28.
O’Leary becomes the 25th recipient of the prestigious annual award, the coaches’ equivalent to the players’ Heisman Trophy.
“I’m very honored to receive an award that is named after Bobby Dodd, who is such a beloved figure in Georgia Tech history,” said O’Leary. “I’d like to extend my thanks to the Bobby Dodd Foundation on behalf of the entire football program. An award like this represents hard work and dedication by many people, especially the assistant coaches and the players. This team worked very hard and stayed focused on what they had to get done and got better each week.”
The award, named for the legendary Georgia Tech football coach of 22 seasons, recognizes the qualities of a Division I coach whose influences on his players, both on and off the field, are outstanding and mirror the philosophy of the legendary Coach Dodd.
The Bobby Dodd Foundation, established in 1976, maintains Coach Dodd’s belief that the game of football should be kept in perspective with college life in general. Academics, graduation rate, discipline, personal development and accomplishments of players and coaches are all part of the formula for selecting the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year winner.
Georgia Tech had a stellar 2000 season, finishing the regular season 9-2 with only 12 points separating it from being undefeated. Tech also finished second in the Atlantic Coast Conference with a 6-2 record. O’Leary earned his second ACC Coach of the Year award in three seasons. The Yellow Jackets earned their fourth straight bowl trip (to the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl), a first for the program since the glory days under Dodd, whose Jackets played in six straight bowls from 1951-56.
Eight Tech players earned all-ACC honors, four of them on the first team, and senior offensive tackle Chris Brown earned first-team all-America honors. O’Leary’s players have improved their academic record in both graduation and honor student percentages. His strength of character and respect from his players is rivaled by few.
One other Georgia Tech head coach out of 24 previous recipients has been presented with the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Award, Coach Bobby Ross in 1990. Last year’s recipient was the popular Frank Beamer of Virginia Tech. O’Leary will be honored with the award in March on the Georgia Tech campus in Atlanta. Patrons of the Bobby Dodd Foundation are The Coca-Cola Company, Cox Enterprises, Delta Air Lines, Georgia Power, SunTrust Bank and George W. Mathews, Jr. For more information about the Bobby Dodd Foundation and the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Award, please visit the website at www.bobbydoddfoundation.com.